Guanajuato is a city and municipality in central Mexico and the capital of the state of the same name. It is located in a narrow valley, which makes the streets of the city narrow and winding. Most are alleys that cars cannot pass through, and some are long sets of stairs up the mountainsides. Many of the city’s thoroughfares are partially or fully underground. The historic center of the city has numerous small plazas and colonial-era mansions, churches and civil constructions built using pink or green sandstone.
The origin and growth of the city resulted from the discovery of mines in the mountains surrounding it. The mines were so rich that the city was one of the most influential during the colonial period. One of the mines, La Valenciana, accounted for two-thirds of the world’s silver production at the height of its production.
The city is home to the Mummy Museum, which contains naturally mummified bodies that were found in the municipal cemetery between the mid 19th and 20th centuries. It is also home to the Festival Internacional Cervantino, which invites artists and performers from all over the world as well as Mexico. The city was also the site of the first battle of the Mexican War of Independence between insurgent and royalist troops at the Alhóndiga de Granaditas. The city was named a World Heritage Site in 1988.
Guanajuato (Spanish pronunciation: [gwanaˈxwato]), officially Free and Sovereign State of Guanajuato (Spanish: Estado Libre y Soberano de Guanajuato), is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 46 municipalities and its capital city is Guanajuato. The largest city in the state is León.
Guanajuato is located between the arid north of the country and the lusher south, and it is geographically part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, the Mexican Plateau and the Sierra Madre Oriental. It was initially settled by the Spanish in the 1520s due to mineral deposits found around the now capital city of Guanajuato, but areas such as the Bajío region also became important for agriculture and livestock. Mining and agriculture have been the traditional mainstays of the state's economy, but today, about 30% of the state's GDP is accounted for by industry, which includes metals, automobiles, leather goods, processed foods and more.